Thursday, October 04, 2007

Music Industry Still Stuffing Genies Back In Bottles

No offense to our fave Lady at the Bar, Sara, but what planet do lawyers come from? This record label attorney says we're "stealing" when we copy our own music, because that cuts them outta the loop one more time again. I guess record labels will be asking the government to bail them out next too. Especially given the new Radiohead business model just unleashed this week. Take a number. (Or in the Radiohead case, pick a number.)

Pariser (attorney for Sony BMG) noted that music labels make no money on touring, radio, or merchandise, which leaves the company particularly exposed to the negative effects of file-sharing. "It's my personal belief that Sony BMG is half the size now as it was in 2000," she said, thanks to piracy. In Pariser's view, "when people steal, when they take music without compensation, we are harmed."

Pariser has a very broad definition of "stealing." When questioned by Richard Gabriel, lead counsel for the record labels, Pariser suggested that what millions of music fans do is actually theft. The dirty deed? Ripping your own CDs or downloading songs you already own.
That full article here. As always, Ugly Bobby weighs in with the straight-up-and-in-yo-face analysis:

Oh, you know that Cupertino company. The one that RUINED THE BUSINESS! Yes, everybody wanted CDs and they developed this iPod contraption and now everybody wants files. Is this really Apple's fault? Or did they just seize an opportunity? More to the point, have the majors constantly SQUANDERED opportunities?

Is the Internet the end, or the beginning? Is it really true that no one can get paid online? Or do we just need a better business model? Do bands have to survive on tours? What about composers, non-touring artists...are they FUCKED? The majors would say so.
And the dead-tree news people think they've got it bad. Ha. So after reading Bobby's blog, where he writes about how great it was to hear Pete Townsend/The Who's song, Pure and Easy, again (he heard it via satellite radio I believe), the power of INTERNET-RELATED SUGGESTION works its many charms on me, again, and I'm off to download that very song. I too haven't heard it, also a fave of mine, in so many years.

Who profits from this particular action? You? Me? Us? Pete's kids? A monk in Burma? Just comment here and I'll burn you a copy too. Come to think about it, where's Pete when you need him the most? Downloading kiddie porn? And where's the Dali Lama? Hanging out at Emory? Jeez...

UPDATE: Realizing I still only have Who's Next on LP, I ended-up downloading the entire album. Let the snowballing begin. It sounds so fucking great again! Once was a note - listen...


Sara said...

I never really understood the whole copyright/trademark/IP bidness, so don't lump me in with them. Even though our office does a ton of that work, it makes my head hurt to even think about.

Having said that, I buy all my downloaded music. Not because I respect copyright but because I got sick of viruses and spyware rampant on the free download sites. 99 cents ain't no big thing for a song, anyhow. If the RIAA were smart they'd focus their energies surreptitiously on making the free filesharing sites too dangerous for regular joes to risk their whole computer just to save 99 cents a song. In fact, maybe that's what they're alraedy doing?

Mike said...

In general, this is why I don't buy (or download) much music anymore. Same for movies, actually. In lieu of adequate copyright terms and conditions, I'll save my dollars for live shows, beer, and tips.

There should be a pool on the percentage of people who 'pay double' for the Radiohead album (having been totally oblivious to the nice "currency conversion" button).

I like their deal, but then again, my reaction is "where's the catch/gimmick/spam behind this?" All that registration generally means they can sell a list for large marketing dollars on the backside, in the best case.

Amber said...

I buy music on iTunes now, because it's easy, convenient, and I can afford it. There was a time when 99 cents *was* a big thing for a song, for me, because I was poor. There was also a (concurrent) time when trying to buy music online was a PITA, and using Limewire or Gnutella was much easier. But alas those days are gone...

At least I never got viruses, being a Mac user.